Echoing the Wright Brother's first moments aloft – when flight distance was more aptly measured by yards than miles – the E-Flight Initiative proof-of-concept Waiex aircraft recently made its maiden flight. The short hop was not the first time a battery-powered flying machine has taken to the skies. Indeed, there have been several who have accomplished relatively long flight times and high speeds. However, for accomplished builder and pilot John Monnett and his team, the first venture off the ground for N270DC was the culmination of four years of work and a huge emotional victory.
The Y-tail craft has its own award-winning proprietary E-Flight system that appears to be under constant development. The set-up that made the flight consisted of a 54 kW brushless DC electric motor powered by a 14.5 kWh lithium polymer battery with the E-Flight motor controller and monitored via custom cockpit instrumentation and controls. The next version of the motor and controller will be installed along with some other new goodies before the plane makes longer flights. Hit the jump for all the details in the press release as well as video of the momentous occasion. Thanks to Andy for the tip!